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Why the Toronto airport gold heist is far from solved

The 400 kilograms of stolen gold disappeared from view on a country road outside Toronto, somewhere past a golf course and an apple orchard.

In the days after the brazen April 2023 robbery at Pearson Airport, Peel Police canvassed 225 homes and businesses, looking for security camera footage, hoping to trace the path of the white five-ton truck that had ferried away the palette of gold bars.

Investigators ultimately determined the truck travelled west from the Air Canada Cargo terminal, taking Highway 401, exiting about 30 minutes away in Milton, Ont. It headed north up the Niagara Escarpment, then disappeared into the twilight.

WATCH | The gold heist still isn't solved:

The Pearson Airport theft ranks as Canada's biggest-ever gold heist and the sixth-largest in modern global history. Yet for all the headlines and public interest, there has been remarkably little information shared about how it all went down.

Police remained mum for a full year, until they called a super-sized press conference on the first anniversary of the robbery to announce they had arrested nine men, and were seeking three more.

With the white truck serving as a backdrop, a procession of politicians, police chiefs and detectives came to the podium to laud their success, and hammer home a simple narrative.

"This isn't just about gold. This is about how gold becomes guns," Nando Iannicca, the chair of the Peel Police Services Board, proclaimed. "It always comes down to guns and organized crime."

To hear police tell it, "reverse alchemy" was at play. Tens of millions of dollars in gold transmuted into firearms, destined for Canadian streets.

  • Multiple arrests, 19 charges laid in $22.5M Pearson gold heist
  • CBC InvestigatesFormer Air Canada manager wanted in gold heist to turn himself in, lawyer says

"We believe that they've melted down the gold, and then the profits they got from the gold they use to help finance the firearm[s]," said Det. Sgt. Mike Mavity, the lead investigator.

The briefing lasted almost an hour, but was light on details. There was no explanation of the charges laid, or pending, against the 12 suspects. Nor was there any discussion of which organized crime group police believed was behind the theft. Exactly how the bars were melted down was never disclosed.

Although the most glaring plot hole could be seen that day in the empty cargo bay of the white truck.

Four hundred kilograms of gold are still missing. And even if police have the people who were responsible, the loot — or the cash it was converted into — appears to be long gone.Read the full story here.

Footie fashion

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(Wolfgang Rattaye/Reuters)

Swiss fans in patriotic attire cheer prior to their team's Euro 2024 match on Wednesday against Scotland in Cologne, Germany. The teams played to a 1-1 draw.

In brief

The union representing WestJet mechanics has rescinded a strike notice and will resume talks with the airline.Some 670 WestJet plane mechanics, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), were set to walk off the job as early as Thursday evening after serving the airline with a strike notice earlier this week following months of negotiations. But in a statement late Wednesday, WestJet says both the union and airline will return to the bargaining table in the hopes of finding a resolution. Earlier Wednesday, WestJet cancelled more than 30 flights ahead of a possible strike, leaving thousands of passengers scrambling.Read the full story here.

The upcoming Toronto-St. Paul's federal byelection will be a critical test for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his party — a bellwether indicating how the party is faring in an area of the country where Liberals have performed well for decades.CBC News spoke to 15 voters in the riding to gauge support for the incumbent party and to learn more about what's motivating people at the ballot box. While the June 24 byelection is being held to pick a new MP for Toronto's midtown, some voters are treating the summer vote as a referendum on Trudeau's time in power. All of the voters who spoke to CBC, including past and current Liberal supporters, said Trudeau should step down as leader if the party loses this Toronto stronghold.Read the full story here.

WATCH:What's at stake for the Liberals in the upcoming Toronto byelection?

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What’s at stake for the Liberals in the upcoming Toronto byelection? I Power & Politics

18 days ago

Duration 4:29

For months, the Bank of Canada has been trying to thread a needle: slow the economy just enough to get inflation back under control but not so much that it causes a recession.In a report released this week, the central bank offered up plenty of evidence that its strategy is working. Inflation has eased, economic growth has resumed all while wages are recovering. But the bank also has a list of things that could quickly derail that progress — from mortgage renewals to population dynamics to conflicts abroad or wildfires in Canada. Canadian households have been clobbered these past two years by rising prices and increased borrowing costs. It's easy to look at easing inflation and think better days lie ahead. And most forecasts show the economy should improve over the rest of this year. But real risks remain, which the bank will be watching for as it decides whether to cut rates again at its July 24 announcement.Read the full analysis here.

Every day, new gas pipes are being installed and connected to homes and businesses across Canada.That's a bad idea for achieving the energy transition to tackle climate change, according to Jason Dion, senior research director at the Canadian Climate Institute, who says it's also a bad deal for gas customers. "Expanding gas infrastructure to heat buildings today would be like investing heavily in a chain of video rental stores 15 years ago," he said. And yet, based on regulatory filings by the gas industry, Dion and his colleagues found that investment in gas infrastructure is growing and new customers are being added in every province or territory with a gas network. Given the long lifespan of buildings and their heating systems, a new report says action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.So why is the gas network still expanding and why are more buildings being heated with gas?Read the full story here.

If, on a clear night, you were to gaze up into the blackness of the sky, you would expect to see nothing but the magnificent Milky Way stretching out above you, billions of stars twinkling in place.Instead, every few minutes or so, you will most likely also see an ersatz star breaking through an otherwise static sky, silently moving across the stars. These are satellites, and there are thousands of them in orbit. When they've outlived their usefulness, most of them will come tumbling back down through Earth's atmosphere, burning up. Scientists are now looking at how this process is dumping potentially harmful particles in our atmosphere. And though the exact consequences are still unknown, some are calling it a wake-up call.Read the full story here.

Now here's some good news to start your Thursday:With intense concentration and focus, Joni Fraser hunches over her sewing machine, creating an intricate starblanket pattern with vibrant designs. The quilter from Pasqua First Nation, 60 kilometres northeast of Regina, fills orders for the blankets from across Canada and the United States. However, when she started in 2018, she wasn't as confident in her skills as she is now — nor as confident in herself. "I did struggle with anxiety … there was a point in my life [where] I didn't want to come out of my room," she recalled. Making starblankets — and sharing that work with others — has been life-changing, she says. "It helped me pull myself out of that self-doubt to have these people believe in me, believe in my work, encourage me each and every time to share my work and just tell me to keep going," she said. "They help me heal that part of me that was so self-doubting."Read the full story here.

Front Burner:The 'pronatalists' trying to engineer a baby boom

Pronatalists argue we need to have more babies to save the world. Their movement is supported by tech billionaires, but why are they accused of racism and eugenics?

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Front Burner27:18The ‘pronatalists’ trying to engineer a baby boom

Today in history: June 20

1942:A Japanese submarine shells the lighthouse at Estevan Point on Vancouver Island, B.C. There were no casualties and little damage from the first attack on Canadian soil since the last of the Fenian raids in 1871.

1963:The U.S. and the Soviet Union agree to set up a superpower hotline.

1964:Northern Dancer wins the Queen's Plate in Toronto. He's the only horse to win both the Plate and the Kentucky Derby.

2000:French conglomerate Vivendi announces it would buy Montreal-based Seagram, which, along with its drinks business, owned Universal Pictures and the Polygram music label, in a $50-billion merger.

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